On October 12, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will reopen the U.S. land borders with Mexico and Canada for non-essential travel for vaccinated travelers.  Non-essential travel includes tourism and family visits.  Land and ferry crossings from Canada and Mexico have been closed to non-essential travel since March 2020.    DHS indicated that this policy change will align land border crossings with the new international air travel COVID-19 prevention protocols to be implemented in November 2021. Accordingly, it does not appear as if U.S. citizens will be required to be vaccinated to enter the U.S. from Canada or Mexico.  Similar to the the new rules for international air travel, DHS has not announced a specific day in November that the land borders with Canada and Mexico would be reopened for non-essential travel.

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On October 8, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced which vaccines will be acceptable for travel to the U.S. once the Biden Administration lifts the COVID-19 travel bans.  This follows the Administration’s September 20th announcement that it will rescind the COVID-19 travel restrictions banning most travel from Europe, Brazil, India, China, Iran, and South Africa.  In its place, the Administration signaled it would replace the bans with a vaccine mandate for most foreign international air travelers, including those coming from countries not previously impacted by the COVID-19 travel bans.  The Administration, however, has not stated which vaccines would be accepted until now.

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On October 1, 2021, the Australian government announced that it expects to begin lifting pandemic-related travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents as soon as November. Australia’s move follows the U.S. government’s announcement on September 20 that it would replace its current international travel bans with a new set of vaccination and testing mandates for foreign nationals traveling to the United States.

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The Japanese government has continued strict entry restrictions for essentially all foreigners due to COVID-19. At the same time, there have been heated debates amongst government officials and Japanese business groups on whether and how to loosen the entry restrictions for business travel, which have impacted both global business and the Japanese economy since the

In response to COVID-19 outbreaks, some Australian states and territories have enacted new restrictions and closed their borders. These restrictions include mandatory quarantines, COVID-19 tests, and the completion of either declaration or registration forms. Australia has remained closed to international travelers, unless you are an Australia citizen, resident, immediate family member, or meet a specified exemption. If returning home to Australia or if an exception is met, travelers from oversees, with the exception of travelers from New Zealand who meet eligibility criteria, are required to quarantine at their port of arrival for 14 days at a government-designated accommodation.

Continue Reading COVID-19 Outbreaks Cause Border Closures and New Travel Restrictions Across Australia

From June 4, 2021, the Japanese government is to implement stricter quarantine measures for travelers from New York, California, Nevada and 12 other states, as well as certain other countries, due to COVID variant infection rates.  Under the stricter quarantine measures, travelers from the applicable states and countries (regardless of nationality) will be required to

Starting May 3, South Korea implemented the Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) pilot program, an optional system for foreign nationals from 21 visa-exempt countries, including the United States. In April, the South Korean Ministry of Justice confirmed the pilot program would continue until August, after which the program would become mandatory for visa-exempt foreign nationals in September 2021.

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The EU plans to launch its EU Digital Covid Certificate (the “Certificate”) across all Member States by 1 July, although some countries, such as Ireland, may implement it at a later date.

As discussed in our previous blog, the Certificate will facilitate travel within the EU by confirming someone has been fully vaccinated with

In line with many countries around the world, in order to combat the spread of Covid-19, the EU placed restrictions on travelers entering from non-EU countries.  With increasing numbers of people now being vaccinated, some countries are slowly coming out of lockdown with restrictions on non-emergency travel easing.

Earlier this week, EU Member States came to an agreement regarding entry of visitors from outside of the EU.  The agreement is still pending final approval but it is anticipated that EU countries will soon allow entry to visitors who either have been fully vaccinated with an EU approved vaccine or are from a “safe list” of third countries that have met certain criteria.

Continue Reading EU Getting Ready to Re-Open Borders to Travellers